I’ve been a librarian for over five years, and have fought like a maniac to keep libraries in NYC open. Money has been scarce in NY for a long time, and library budgets are only just starting to level out. My system had some very un-fun layoff scares (while some systems have had actual layoffs), stunted hours, lack of materials, and massive staff shortages. To combat this, my colleagues and I have stayed up all night reading, dressed up as zombies and lumbered over the Brooklyn Bridge, and took part in a number of other tactics to help keep NYC libraries open and staffed. I really believe in the power of libraries and how they can transform lives and communities, but hey, when someone has a super good idea on how to save us all some money, I’m all ears. The super-good-idea haver is one Tim Worstall and he’s really knocking it out of the park with his idea to just shut down those dusty, ghost-town book depositories we call libraries and replace them with unlimited Kindle subscriptions for everyone!
More titles, easier access and quite possibly a saving of public funds. Why wouldn’t we simply junk the physical libraries and purchase an Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription for the entire country?
I can’t argue with logic, can you? I don’t know about everybody else, but I think it’s time to just start converting these libraries in fro-yo places and just getting on with it already.
Now, maybe I’m kinda a Ludite, so you might have to explain this to me, but Amazon Kindle subscriptions are more than just books, right? I mean, yeah, you can get e-books and audiobooks and stuff, but it does tons more, correct?
Like, for example, the Kindle sits your kids down teaches them how to code, right? In a sort of fun, accessible, hands-on manner? And helps those same kids to learn how to invest their money? And provides activities for kids with a variety of abilities? And makes sure that kids who need free meals have them during the summer?
And Amazon provides a safe place for kids to go after school, no? Just like a safe haven they can go to until their parents pick them up. I might be wrong, but while the kids are somehow safely ensconced inside the Kindle, Amazon employees provide them with a free computer and WiFi use and research/homework assistance. I think.
And it’s not just for adults. Where many organizations and search engines fail, Kindle is there for your specialized research needs.
And in the case of a natural disaster, where you might lose your belongings and your home and have no access to WiFi and other resources, Amazon totally has your back, right?
And, correct me if I’m wrong, but Amazon is extremely supportive of the homeless community.
And if you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon will totally lend you a free Kindle. No problem. Amazon understands that you don’t have money for a Kindle!
I mean, if this unlimited Kindle subscription can not only lend us books, but provide safe places for our kids, educate us, help close the digital divide, provide specialized research assistance, help us in natural disasters, find us jobs, help the homeless population AND lend us free Kindles, then, well damn. I, for one, welcome our Amazon overlords.
Thanks, Tim Worstall! You’re the Best-all.
Oh, and one more thing, just as a little reminder:
P.S. Feel free to add your own reasons why libraries can offer so much more than an e-book subscription ever could.